Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Psychology

Undergraduate Degrees

Major Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Grade Requirement

A grade of C- or higher is required to count a class toward major requirements.

Required courses, Lower-division Units
MATH 114x* Foundations of Statistics 4
PSYC 100 Introduction to Psychology 4
PSYC 274L** Statistics I 4
*At least one math course of 2.67 units or more is required. MATH 114x (or MATH 208x, MATH 218, or MATH 265) is required. Students with a strong math background may profit from a more advanced class.

Thirty-two upper-division psychology units are required, including:

Required courses, Upper-division Units
PSYC 314L** Research Methods 4
PSYC 316L Non-Experimental Research Methods 4
**It is recommended that no more than two upper-division psychology courses be taken prior to the completion of PSYC 274L and PSYC 314.

One course from each of four of the following five lists is also required:

Cognitive Units
PSYC 301L Cognitive Processes 4
PSYC 305 Learning and Memory 4
PSYC 440 Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience 4
Developmental Units
PSYC 336L Developmental Psychology 4
PSYC 337L Adult Development and Aging 4
PSYC 339L Origins of the Mind 4
Clinical Units
PSYC 360 Abnormal Psychology 4
PSYC 361 Introduction to Clinical Psychology 4
PSYC 367 Health Psychology 4
Biological Units
PSYC 304L Sensation and Perception 4
PSYC 320 Principles of Psychobiology 4
PSYC 326 Behavioral Neuroscience 4
PSYC 404L Psychophysiology of Emotion 4
PSYC 420 Animal Behavior 4
PSYC 426 Motivated Behaviors 4
Social Units
PSYC 355 Social Psychology 4
PSYC 359 Interpersonal Relations 4

Two 400-level psychology courses other than 490x totaling eight units are also required. PSYC 404L, PSYC 420 and PSYC 426 may not count toward this requirement if used to satisfy the biological category above.

An additional psychology course, either upper or lower-division of at least 2.67 units is required.

Bachelor of Arts, Social Sciences, with an Emphasis in Psychology Requirements

The required courses are: PSYC 100, MATH 114*, PSYC 274L and eight upper-division courses in departments in the social sciences, including five in the Department of Psychology and three outside the department but within the division. These may be any 300- or 400-numbered courses.

*MATH 208, MATH 218 or MATH 265 may substitute for MATH 114.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts with a Combined Major in Linguistics and Psychology

For the lower division: LING 210, PSYC 100 and PSYC 274L are required. For the upper division the following courses are required: LING 301 and LING 302; PSYC 314L; two courses selected from LING 380, LING 401, LING 402, LING 403, LING 405, LING 406, LING 407, LING 410, LING 415, LING 466 and LING 485; three additional courses selected from LING 406, PSYC 301L, PSYC 326, PSYC 336L, PSYC 337L, PSYC 424 and PSYC 433. See Department of Linguistics.

Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Science

Director: Toben Mintz, Ph.D.

Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary major that focuses on the mind and cognition from a variety of perspectives and approaches. The core and electives sample from courses from anthropology, computer science, linguistics, mathematics, philosophy and psychology.

The major consists of four fixed core courses, plus two tiers of flexible core courses. The first tier generally consists of more introductory courses and the second tier of more advanced courses, although there are exceptions, and some courses satisfy either tier. Students must take two courses from the first tier and three courses from the second. The purpose of the flexible tiers is to structurally implement interdisciplinary breadth with some degree of flexibility. The flexible core is a subset of the electives, from which students can choose in order to complete the required number of units.

Students may elect to focus their curriculum from one of three tracks, which are suggested courses of study for focusing on a particular theme in cognitive science. This may be accomplished through individual advisement: language, reasoning and decision-making, and the computational mind.

Total required units for major: 43–48 units. Consisting of 16 core units, 18–20 flexible core units and 9–12 elective units.
Core Requirements (4 courses) Units
PSYC 100 Introduction to Psychology 4
PSYC 274L* Statistics I 4
PSYC 301L Cognitive Processes 4
PSYC 339L Origins of the Mind 4
16
*Prerequisite required

Flexible Core Requirements (5 courses) Units
Two courses from:
CSCI 455* Introduction to Programming Systems Design 4
LING 210 Introduction to Linguistics 4
LING 301* Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology 4
LING 302* Introduction to Syntax and Semantics 4
PHIL 250ab Elementary Formal Logic 2-2
PHIL 262 Mind and Self: Modern Conceptions 4
PSYC 304L Sensation and Perception 4
PSYC 336L Developmental Psychology 4
Three courses from:
ANTH 306 Primate Social Behavior 4
ANTH 308 Origins and Evolution of Human Behavior 4
CSCI 460* Introduction to Artificial Intelligence 3
LING 405 Child Language Acquisition 4
LING 406 Psycholinguistics 4
LING 407 Atypical Language 4
PHIL 350 Symbolic Logic 4
PHIL 422 British Empiricism 4
PHIL 462 Philosophy of Mind 4
PHIL 465 Philosophy of Language 4
PSYC 304L Sensation and Perception 4
PSYC 336L Developmental Psychology 4
PSYC 401 Evolutionary Psychology 4
PSYC 420 Animal Behavior 4
PSYC 422* Human Judgment and Decision Making 4
PSYC 433* Children’s Learning and Cognitive Development 4
PSYC 450L Neural Network Models of Social and Cognitive Processes 4
PSYC 454 Social Cognition 4
18–20
Electives (3 courses) Units
ANTH 200L The Origins of Humanity 4
ANTH 306 Primate Social Behavior 4
ANTH 308 Origins and Evolution of Human Behavior 4
ANTH 406 Theory and Method in Biological Anthropology 4
CSCI 101L Fundamentals of Computer Programming 3
CSCI 102L* Data Structures 3
CSCI 200L* Object-Oriented Programming 3
CSCI 271* Discrete Methods in Computer Science 3
CSCI 455x Introduction to Programming Systems Design 3
CSCI 460* Introduction to Artificial Intelligence 3
LING 210 Introduction to Linguistics 4
LING 301* Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology 4
LING 302* Introduction to Syntax and Semantics 4
LING 405 Child Language Acquisition 4
LING 406 Psycholinguistics 4
LING 407 Atypical Language 4
MATH 116 Mathematics for the Social Sciences 4
PHIL 250ab Elementary Formal Logic 2-2
PHIL 262 Mind and Self: Modern Conceptions 4
PHIL 350 Symbolic Logic 4
PHIL 422 British Empiricism 4
PHIL 423 The Critical Philosophy of Kant 4
PHIL 462 Philosophy of Mind 4
PHIL 463 Theories of Action 4
PHIL 465 Philosophy of Language 4
PHIL 486 Methodologies of the Sciences 4
PSYC 304L Sensation and Perception 4
PSYC 336L Developmental Psychology 4
PSYC 401 Evolutionary Psychology 4
PSYC 420 Animal Behavior 4
PSYC 422* Human Judgment and Decision Making 4
PSYC 424 Neuropsychology 4
PSYC 425 Functional Imaging of the Human Brain 4
PSYC 433* Children’s Learning and Cognitive Development 4
PSYC 440 Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience 4
PSYC 450L Neural Network Models of Social and Cognitive Processes 4
PSYC 454 Social Cognition 4
9-12
*Prerequisite required

Total units: 43–48

Note: A course that is listed in both flexible core categories can be taken in either one. Students must choose a minimum of 16 upper-division units from the flexible core and electives lists.

Minor in Psychology

The minor requires six courses: PSYC 100 and five additional courses:

One course is required in each of three of the five topic areas listed under Major Requirements. PSYC 314L may be used to fulfill one of these topic areas.

Two elective PSYC courses. One must be upper-division, 300-level or higher.

Limitations:

1. Students must complete at least 16 upper-division PSYC units.

2. No more than four units of PSYC 490x is applicable to the minor.

3. Each of the six courses must be at least 2.67 units.

Minor in Psychology and Law

This interdisciplinary minor brings together courses in psychology that focus on the social, clinical, cognitive and societal aspects of psychology and how it relates to law. This knowledge is augmented with courses from the USC Gould School of Law that identify the relationship between mental health, social psychology and law.

Twenty-four units are required for the minor. A minimum of four courses (16 units) must be unique to the minor. Psychology majors and students majoring in social sciences with an emphasis in psychology may “double count” up to two courses toward the major and minor; however, they must take a minimum of four courses that do not apply to the major.

Required Courses

PSYC 100 or LAW 200 (PSYC 100 is a prerequisite to upper-division PSYC classes). Psychology majors must take both courses.

Elective Requirements

At least two upper-division courses in Psychology taken from the following list: PSYC 301, PSYC 304, PSYC 355, PSYC 360, PSYC 454, PSYC 463, PSYC 465.

At least two upper-division Law classes from the following list: LAW 402, LAW 403, LAW 404.

No more than one course from the following list may be used to complete the four unique courses requirement: ANTH 355, ANTH 371, SOCI 350, SOCI 351, SOCI 353.

Minor in Consumer Behavior

This interdisciplinary minor explores consumer thinking from the perspective of psychology, marketing, economics, anthropology, sociology and other departments interested in popular culture. Why do people form the attitudes and impressions they do? How do individual factors, culture, mass media, economics and social trends influence people’s decisions? See USC Marshall School of Business.

Minor in Critical Approaches to Leadership

See the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Honors Program

The department offers an honors program for outstanding students in the B.A., Psychology major who desire advanced research training in preparation for graduate work in the social sciences or in professional schools. The primary focus of the honors program is the completion of a research study under the guidance of a faculty adviser. Students are admitted to the program in the fall semester of their junior year. To be eligible for admission, a student must have an overall GPA of at least 3.5 at the time of application to the program. This program is not available to students majoring in Social Sciences with an emphasis in Psychology. Students in the honors program complete all major requirements, including PSYC 380 Junior Honors Seminar during the spring semester of their junior year and PSYC 480 Senior Honors Seminar during the spring semester of their senior year. Students complete an honors thesis proposal as part of the Junior Honors Seminar and must submit a completed senior honors thesis by April 1 of the senior year. Students are also expected to have an overall GPA of at least 3.5 at the time of graduation. For further information, contact the undergraduate adviser.

Progressive Degree Program in Psychology

This progressive degree program permits superior students to complete all requirements for both the B.A. and the M.A. degrees in psychological science in five years. Students may apply on completion of 64 units of course work applicable to their undergraduate degrees since graduating from high school (AP units, IB units and course work taken prior to high school graduation are excluded), but not later than the end of their junior year (or the completion of 96 units). To be eligible for admission, students must have at least a 3.5 overall GPA and must have completed PSYC 274L Statistics and PSYC 314 Research Methods with at least a B+ in each. The application for admission to a progressive degree program must be accompanied by an approved course plan proposal and letters of recommendation from two USC faculty members (at least one in the Department of Psychology who agrees to mentor the student). The requirements for both the B.A. and M.A. degrees must be satisfied. Further details about progressive degrees can be found on the Requirements for Graduation page.

Psi Chi

Psi Chi is the national honor society in psychology. Membership is open to graduate and undergraduate men and women who meet the minimum qualifications. Psi Chi is a member of the Association of the College Honor Societies and is an affiliate of the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society.